The UAE will host Expo 2020!
  • Arabic
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
Supported by the UAE National Media Council

Mohamed bin Zayed reviews progress of government work, development projects

posted on 02/10/2014

Continuous delivery of sustainable development requires a state-of-the-art infrastructure that keeps pace with the development that the U.A.E. is witnessing in implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to raise the profile of the U.A.E. and honour serving the progress, development and welfare of the Emirati people, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces, and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, underscored yesterday.

Sheikh Mohamed made his remarks during a meeting of the Abu Dhabi Executive Committee at Al Mamoura Building in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council. During the meeting, the Crown Prince was updated on the progress of the government of Abu Dhabi work and implementation of current initiatives and those planned for the future in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Having reviewed government projects during the regular weekly meeting of the committee, H.H. instructed that all efforts be concerted and mobilised to implement these projects on a par with the best recognised practices, on the set schedule, and that circumstances be prepared to enable national professionals to shoulder their responsibilities in realising the Abu Dhabi Vision, playing a more significant and more effective role in the social, knowledge, educational and economic development.

The Executive Committee discussed a series of resolutions that emphasised the wise leadership's determination to upgrade the education sector and provide all means for improving the learning quality and increase the participation of citizens, in consistence with an inclusive, integrated vision for development of human resources in the education sector.

The Crown Prince also viewed plans prepared by the Department of Municipal Affairs to improve the health environment of Abu Dhabi city, particularly in areas of landscaping, lawns and gardens, through the awarding of maintenance and operation contracts worth more than Dh426 million, in accordance with the latest agricultural and irrigation techniques that reduce water consumption in line with environmental standards.

Sheikh Mohamed also received a detailed presentation on new projects aimed at raising the capacity of the electricity network in the emirate by approving construction of five combined distribution stations, supply and installation of power cables, electric equipment, digital power metres, overhead power lines and network upgrades at a total cost of over Dh 268 million.

These projects aim to boost the electricity network to meet growing demand and economic growth being experienced by the emirate.

Also reviewed during the meeting were the progress of infrastructure works in Khalifa City, including the internal lighting project utilising 3,108 light-emitting diode (LED) poles, sewerage works and the building of pavements at a total value of Dh 242 million as part of a project approved by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council last year.

The participants also discussed the work progress on the maintenance of internal roads and their completion phases in Abu Dhabi. They also discussed details on roads and infrastructure work in various areas in Al Ain, which are scheduled to start this year.

The projects include street lighting, car parks, the drainage network and pedestrian pavements at a total cost of Dh 40 million.

The projects also include the implementation of 12.5 kilometres of internal roads, 32.7 kilometres of pedestrian sidewalks, 1,935 car parking lots and about 9km of a storm drainage network, in addition to 430 lamp-posts.

The projects come within the ongoing modernisation and expansion of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain's infrastructure network in all sectors to keep pace with urban growth and ensure the best living standards for citizens.

The committee also reviewed the work progress on Mafraq-Ghweifat highway and the Abu Dhabi-Dubai main road projects.

Also reviewed were the latest achievements of the first phase of the Etihad Rail Project, including the line between Habshan and Al Ruwais, at a length of 140 km, in addition to another 20 km of detours and side tracks, which are deemed important milestones in the march of development process of the first railway in the U.A.E..

The first phase of the 264 km Shah-Habshan line will be fully completed at the end of this year. Seven carriages and 110 wagons will run on this line. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Forbes Middle East names Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Personality of the Year 2014: Arab World Women Leader

posted on 02/10/2014

Forbes Middle East Magazine has named H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, GWU, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation, FDF, and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the Personality of the Year 2014: Arab World Women Leader, in recognition of her being a model for generous giving and sense of responsibility, and of her pioneering cultural and developmental role in the enhancement of the role of women and the backing of their presence in the society in U.A.E., the Arab World and internationally.

Forbes Middle East Magazine made the announcement at a ceremony to honour the most prominent women who contributed to the development of their countries and to the making of their present and future.

The ceremony was held under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development.

Dr. Maytha bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State, was presented with the award on behalf of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak.

In his speech at the honouring ceremony, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, said the well-deserved honour is a source of pride as it recognises Sheikha Fatima's sincere and continuous efforts and positive and pioneering role in leading social development and showing all the men and women of the nation the way to excellence and superiority.

Forbes Middle East also announced its list of the 200 Most Powerful Arab Women.

"We are proud that H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the Nation, is a leader and a pioneer who contributes to all the fields of benevolence, and sponsors purposeful initiatives in the spheres of education, healthcare, social development, volunteering, women development, family care and the encouragement of innovation, creativity and achievement in all spheres." "This pioneering role expanded to Arab countries and the rest of the world and very effective in promoting the principles of good, well-being, rightness and cooperation on the humanitarian, regional and international levels." This occasion, noted Sheikh Nahyan, provides a good opportunity for highlighting the vital role and tangible achievements of Arab women in the advancement of the society and national development in all areas through their notable potential as an important element of progress and evolution both regionally and globally.

Sheikh Nahyan emphasised that holding the awarding ceremony in U.A.E. reflects the country's strong commitment to women's empowerment and to providing the favourable circumstances for women to enable them to make full, excellent and effective contribution to national and global progress.

Sheikh Nahyan also emphasised that U.A.E., under the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is keen on tapping the full potential of all its women and men.

"U.A.E. has become a leader in this regard. All Emirati women and men are proud that their country guarantees equal opportunities for all of them in education, excellence and superiority." Sheikh Nahyan extended thanks to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister of U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of U.A.E. Armed Forces, for their keen interest in empowering women to achieve excellence, shoulder responsibilities and contribute to all efforts to help their society and the world to achieve progress, development and prosperity. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – ( (


U.A.E.’s environment record improving, report says

posted on 02/10/2014

The U.A.E.'s environment scorecard has shown a steady improvement for the past two years, but it's still not enough to sustain its demand for the long-term, according to a report carried by the Gulf News English daily yesterday.

The U.A.E. took third place after Kuwait and Qatar in the list of countries whose residents have the biggest ecological footprint, according to the Living Planet Report 2014 released yesterday.

The U.A.E.'s ecological footprint has gone down to 7.75 global hectares per capita this year from 9.5 global hectares per capita in 2008 and 8.4 in 2010.

Dr Rashid Ahmad bin Fahd, Minister of Environment and Water and Chairman of the U.A.E.'s Ecological Footprint Initiative (EFI), lauded the U.A.E.'s collective effort to reduce its ecological footprint but said more should be done.

"Despite the important improvement in the results, the U.A.E.'s per capita consumption remains high and unsustainable, and addressing this effectively requires our continued attention and proactive efforts to develop programmes that aim to reduce our consumption with a special focus on reduction of our carbon footprint," Dr. bin Fahd said.

Ida Tillisch, Director-General of Emirates Wildlife Society-WWF and of EFI, said that ensuring a balance between economic and environmental well-being is possible.

"In the U.A.E., development choices should consider the full cycle of any activity. For example, when constructing a building, water and energy consumption should be factored in at the design stage as well as when the building is in use. By making such smart choices, we can reduce the use of natural resources." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Masdar Institute’s iSmart and regional stakeholders join European Commission to launch Horizon 2020

posted on 02/10/2014

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, yesterday announced that the Institute's Centre for Smart and Sustainable Systems (iSmart), will join the EU-funded international research and innovation cooperation project INCONET-GCC-2 to host a conference on smart cities, and launch the Horizon 2020 programme.

Under the title "Smart Cities for Sustainable Development: European and GCC Perspectives and Horizon 2020", the conference will be held from October 14th-15th in Abu Dhabi. The first day of the event will focus on smart cities and sustainable urban development including a visit to Masdar City and Masdar Institute to view the smart features and sustainable architectural elements. The second day will witness the launch of Horizon 2020 in the U.A.E.. Global leaders in the smart infrastructure, city planning and sustainability fields are expected to attend the event.

The inter-regional collaboration comes under Inconet-GCC2 – a network of 20 partner organisations from all over Europe and Arab Gulf countries, working together on strengthening bi-regional cooperation on research and innovation. It has a duration of three years (2014-2017) and is sponsored by the European Commission's Directorate General for Research and Innovation. Horizon 2020 is the biggest-ever EU Research and Innovation programme with nearly ?80 billion (more than Dh380 billion) of funding available over seven years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to private investment. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said, "The region's leading research-based institution is privileged to partner with other stakeholders to lay greater emphasis on smart infrastructure and sustainable development. With the support of the U.A.E. leadership, we have effectively raised our profile through hosting global and inter-regional conferences such as the Inconet-GCC2 for the Horizon 2020 initiative. We believe the conference will immensely help raise awareness on smart infrastructure, leading to the arrival of innovative new green solutions." Faculty from Masdar Institute will join the government, non-government and private sector stakeholders in leading regional participation in the event. Dr. Mohammed Atif Omar, Head of iSmart, and Associate Professor, Engineering Systems and Management, Dr. Hatem Zeinaldin, Masdar Institute, Smart Grid Specialist, and Dr. Khaled Al Awadi, Urban Planning Specialist, and Assistant Professor-Engineering Systems and Management, will each lead panel discussions on smart cities' current achievements, ‘infrastructure', as well as ‘city planning and resource management'.

The conference will promote the dialogue among international key institutions and experts focusing on smart cities, to identify common areas for cooperation and promote action plans. Moreover, it will highlight various funding opportunities available for the promotion and development of the ‘smart cities' model, the related technologies and the cooperation paths through EU's Horizon 2020 Program as well as other national GCC programmes and initiative. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


U.A.E., US sign MoU to boost cooperation in the energy field

posted on 02/10/2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.: U.S. Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, and U.A.E.'s Minister of Energy, Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding to reaffirm their commitment to a strong bilateral energy relationship, joint cooperation and exchange of ideas in the areas of energy and the energy-water nexus.

The MoU was signed at the beginning of the U.S.-U.A.E. Strategic Energy Dialogue, which was co-chaired by U.A.E. Energy Minister and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy, Daniel Poneman, yesterday in Washington D.C. This meeting follows the inaugural Strategic Energy Dialogue hosted by the U.A.E. in Abu Dhabi in June 2014.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and the U.A.E. creates a framework for cooperation in the areas of energy and the energy-water nexus, and facilitates sharing technical knowledge, skills and expertise. Planned cooperation will initially focus on five areas, including energy policy formulation, energy efficiency, the energy-water nexus, carbon capture and storage, and unconventional oil and gas development.

At the meeting, the U.S. and U.A.E. agreed on milestones and specific timelines to tackle the five areas of the MoU. Both delegations agreed to hold the next Strategic Energy Dialogue in Abu Dhabi in early 2015.

The two sides also reiterated their shared interest in monitoring global oil markets and discussed initiatives to promote public and private sector partnerships, and to support U.A.E.'s emerging civilian nuclear power sector. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


TDIC sells out phase one of Mamsha al Saadiyat

posted on 02/10/2014

Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) yesterday announced that phase one of Mamsha Al Saadiyat, offered for sale off-plan, has been sold at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi.

Located in the Cultural District, Mamsha Al Saadiyat is a 1.4 kilometre beachfront mixed-use development that will offer residents a luxurious beach-inspired lifestyle as well as easy access to diverse retail, dining and entertainment features.

The residential development, whose name means ‘Saadiyat Walk', is offering future members of its community easy access to the world-class museums – Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. In addition, residents can take advantage of their close proximity to The District, a premier retail destination that is being developed in partnership with L Real Estate (LRE), a global real estate development and investment fund sponsored by LVMH.

Ahmed Al Fahim, Executive Director of Marketing, Communications, Sales and Leasing at TDIC, said, "We are pleased that Mamsha Al Saadiyat has garnered such strong demand, given that it is the first dedicated beachfront property on Saadiyat that will offer its residences spectacular views and easy access to the Cultural District's world-class museums, which are set to turn the island as well as the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, into a hub of art and culture. This goes on to show the trust that investors have in the value and quality of what TDIC is developing on Saadiyat today." Comprising five clusters, each approximately 250 metres long, the development will feature nine low-rise residential buildings with a total of 461 units including apartments and townhouses. The unit sizes will range from one to four-bedrooms to lofts and penthouses, with a gross floor area from 106 to 454 square metres for the one to four-bedroom units. Penthouses enjoy a size starting from 1,200 square metres. All buildings will feature ground-level retail offerings and pool terraces. The complete project, which will be developed in phases, will also encompass a serviced-apartment building and a retail village offering approximately 5,000 square metres of leasable area, for both retail and dining outlets.

"Mamsha Al Saadiyat will be the capital's new upcoming social attraction with a vibrant community that emphasises a healthy lifestyle for all. Not only will it offer top-of-the-line facilities and services but also unique community elements that will make it stand out from any other development in the region," Al Fahim added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Nakheel awards Dh120 million contract for Al Furjan infrastructure work

posted on 02/10/2014

Developer Nakheel has awarded a contract worth almost Dh 120 million for infrastructure work at its Al Furjan master community in Dubai.

The contract with Dubai-based Target and Jima Construction Company covers the construction of 16 km of roads and the preparation of nearly 500 third party villa plots at the ever-growing community. The work is due to begin by the end of October 2014, with a planned 16 month completion timeline, according to the developer.

The contract is for work in Al Furjan Phase 2. Nakheel has already delivered 800 homes and is building 400 more in Phase 1, a thriving community with more than 2,500 residents.

Nakheel is also building a new, 10,000 square metre retail and recreation hub at Al Furjan. The centre, complete with supermarket, cafes, restaurants, shops, swimming pool, gym and sports courts, is due to open in March 2016. More than 70 per cent of retail space there is already booked.

Al Furjan is conveniently located between Sheikh Zayed Road and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, close to Ibn Battuta Mall. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Etihad Airways cadet pilots begin specialised training programme in Ireland

posted on 02/10/2014

A group of 36 Etihad Airways U.A.E. national cadet pilots have started a specialised aviation training programme at College Ireland Aviation Services at Weston Airport in Dublin, Ireland.

The cadet pilots were welcomed by the Minister for Justice and Equality, Francis Fitzgerald TD; Second Secretary of the U.A.E. Embassy in Ireland, Mohamed Al Shamsi and Brian Joyce, Executive Chairman of College Ireland Aviation Services.

Also in attendance was Captain Salah Awadh Alfarajalla, VP Aviation Security and National Pilot Development, and Wissam Hachem, Vice President for Learning and Development at Etihad Airways.

Ray Gammell, Etihad Airways' Chief People and Performance Officer, said, "Etihad Airways continually identifies world class training and education opportunities to develop our aviation professionals. This partnership with College Ireland Aviation Services will help to grow and empower our Emirati cadet pilots who will play an important role in our business." Ireland's Ambassador to the U.A.E., Patrick Hennessy, said, "I warmly welcome the new programme launched by Etihad Airways and College Ireland in the framework of their strategic partnership.

"This initiative underlines the significant cooperation between Etihad Airways and Ireland, and is also testament to the quality of Irish education, as reflected in the training programme developed by College Ireland in cooperation with Etihad Airways.

"In welcoming these young Emirati cadet pilots to Ireland, I am also pleased to note this further enhancement of the rapidly growing positive relationship between Ireland and the U.A.E." As part of the programme, cadet pilots will enhance their language skills for real-life flying situations including abnormal and emergency scenarios. The cadet pilots will undertake aviation-specific subject modules, such as dangerous goods training. At the end of the programme they will take internationally recognised aviation language exams.

Sara Al Naqbi, one of the cadet pilots taking the course, said, "This is a fantastic opportunity to study and learn in Ireland as well as develop our English language skills to meet the requirements to be a qualified Etihad Airways pilot.

"While the classroom training is essential to develop our aviation language, this experience also gives us the opportunity to be immersed in an English speaking culture while we live with our host families." Since the launch of Etihad Airways' graduate programmes, more than 1,000 people have joined the airline and are now deployed in positions across the airline.

U.A.E. nationals are the largest nationality in Etihad Airways with 1,680 currently employed across the airline. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Jafza Roadshows in Hamburg, Frankfurt set to boost US$1.9bn Jafza - Germany trade

posted on 02/10/2014

Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), the premier Free Zone in the Middle East, whose non-oil trade with Germany totalled more than US$ 1.9 billion last year, evoked renewed interest among businesses in Germany seeking to leverage Dubai's global connectivity and trade hub status to boost their exports and product offering.

A Jafza team comprising Tariq bin Ghalaita, the Vice President of Sales and Abdulaziz Redha the Assistant Manager Sales, of the Europe Region and Mania Merrikhi, Project Manager, Marketing addressed seminars in Frankfurt and Hamburg to highlight the advantage of using Jafza as a base of operations for the Middle East and North Africa, as well as a gateway to the world markets, on the side-lines of Automechanika Frankfurt.

With non-oil trade at around US$ 1.9 billion during 2013, Germany is Jafza's number one trade partner in Europe. Over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of companies that use Jafza as their base of operations in the Middle East.

A rich line-up of speakers, including the former First Mayor of Hamburg Ole von Beust, and former Senator Reinhard Stuth gave the participants insight into Dubai's business climate, the opportunities, and the benefits to German companies setting up there. Participants including influential business leaders in both the cities learnt about the facilities and services Jafza has to offer.

Participants at the seminars showed tremendous interest in Dubai's business environment, and sales team met with a number of multinational companies interested in locating their Middle East base of operations in Jafza. The unmatched logistics infrastructure, and the facilities and services available to Jafza customers are the key reasons these companies are looking to set up in Dubai.

Among the features highlighted was Dubai's unprecedented sea-land-air link, which allows the free movement of goods between Jebel Ali Free Zone, Jebel Ali Port, one of the busiest ports in the world, and Al Maktoum International Airport, which is designed to handle 12 million tonnes of freight, within a single customs bond.

The Jafza Roadshow saw the active support of Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Frankfurt, and was successful in connecting with the German market, where there is increasing business focus on life sciences, healthcare, renewable energy, and fashion in addition to the traditional automotive, trade and logistics sectors. U.A.E. and Dubai play a key role in the German market, pushing Dubai and Jafza's brand recognition to new highs.

Currently, 250 companies of German origin have their Middle East base of operations in Jafza, including industry leaders, such as Bayer, Hellman, Kuhne + Nagel, Karcher, DHL, Daimler and Audi among others spanning 15 industry sectors, including Equipment and Machinery, Building Materials, Electronic and Electrical, Perfumes, Medicine and Beauty, Industrial Chemicals, Structural Steel Manufacturing, Motor vehicles and Motorcycles. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Saif takes part in GCC emergency security meeting in Jeddah

posted on 02/10/2014

JEDDAH: H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, has led the U.A.E. delegation to the emergency security meeting of the interior ministers of the members states of the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf, GCC, which took place in Jeddah.

The U.A.E. delegation to emergency meeting in Jeddah included Ali bin Hammad, Deputy Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for National Security, Major General Hareb Al Khaiili, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior for Resources and Support Services, Brigadier Ali Khalfan Al Dhaheri, Director General of the Headquarters Affairs at Abu Dhabi Police, Brigadier Mansour Ahmed Ali Al Dhaheri, Director-General of the Ministry Affairs, and other high-ranking officers.

Saudi Press Agency, SPA, said that upon directives from the leaders of the GCC states, "The GCC interior ministers discussed the latest security developments in Yemen in light of the regrettable events that took place in the vicinity of Sana'a and other areas in addition to attacks on the security and civil institutions in Yemen which affect the sovereignty of the state and the security of the Yemeni people. They expressed deep concern over the threats against the Yemeni government and its institutions." "The GCC ministers expressed their condemnation of all the actions which took place in Yemen using force of arms, and their condemnation and denunciation of robbery of the properties and assets of the Yemeni people, and stressed the necessity to restore all official headquarters and institutions to the State of Yemen and to hand over all weapons and all looted military equipment and public and private money." "The ministers confirmed that the GCC countries' stand strongly with the Yemeni government and people through legitimacy and in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations, the GCC initiative and the outputs of the national dialogue." "They stressed that the GCC states will not stand idle in front of foreign sectional interferences, confirming that the Yemeni and GCC security is indivisible." SPA added that the GCC Interior ministers "expressed their hope that the Republic of Yemen will pass through this phase in a way that preserves its security, stability, sovereignty, independence and unity, and emphasised that threats against the security and safety of the Yemeni people are threats against the security and stability of the region and the interests of its peoples." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Lubna chairs meeting of U.A.E. Committee for the Coordination of Foreign Humanitarian Aid

posted on 02/10/2014

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD), Head of the U.A.E. Committee for the Coordination of Foreign Humanitarian Aid, has extended thanks and appreciation to the wise leadership represented by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the support of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces and relentless follow-up of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, on the establishment of the 'U.A.E. Committee for the Coordination of Foreign Humanitarian Aid'.

The Committee aims to promote the country's humanitarian contributions for the victims of humanitarian catastrophes and crises as well as bolstering the U.A.E.'s stature on the international humanitarian work arena.

Sheikha Lubna expressed these views while chairing the committee's meeting, which was established last May after the formal approval from the cabinet.

The Committee discussed a number of issues relevant to the U.A.E.'s humanitarian response, mechanisms of enhancing coordination and integration among the Emirati organisations working in this field.

At the end of the meeting, the committee also approved the recommendations, pertaining to the country's response to crises and catastrophes, in order to be referred to the wise leadership for the appropriate decisions. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Sharjah unveils details of first ever international conference on refugee children in the region

posted on 02/10/2014

The Organising Committee of 'Investing In the Future: Protecting Refugee Children and Adolescents, MENA (IIFMENA) has unveiled the details of the first ever international conference on refugee children issues in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The conference will be organised under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah on 15th and 16th of October, in presence of over 300 international figures including leaders, and top officials concerned with the issues of refugee children in the region and the world.

The conference will be held upon invitation from H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, Wife of H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah, and UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children, and in collaboration with Big Heart campaign.

The dignitaries, VIPs and senior officials who will attend the conference includes Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan who will deliver a keynote speech on the opening day; Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Dr. Nabil Elaraby, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Pierre Krahenbuhl, Commissioner-General of UNRWA, and Lynne Featherstone, DFID minister, UK.

Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of Salam Ya Seghar, who announced the details at a press conference said, "Investing in the Future" conference, which is being held for the first time outside the UNHCR headquarters in Geneva, will develop the necessary mechanisms to ensure the protection of refugee children and youth in the Middle East and North Africa region, and provide rights for them, particularly shelter, food, healthcare, psychological rehabilitation and education. In addition, it will ensure that refugee children get the necessary legal documents and access to actively participate in community.

Al Hammadi said that the large number of leaders and government officials, regional and international experts in refugee issues and children protection, will enhance chances of success and facilitate the implementation of the recommendations on regional and international levels, particularly in the presence of influential figures in refugee issues, such as Zainab Bangura, Special Representative UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict; Ahmed Al Hindawi, United Nations Envoy for Youth; and ministers from the U.A.E., GCC countries, and a number of the refugee host countries.

The director of Salam Ya Seghar spoke about the Youth Forum which will be held on the side-lines of the conference: "The Youth Forum aims to spread awareness among youth on the refugee issues in the MENA region, and highlight a number of important initiatives in refugee protection in the region. The forum includes workshops presented by the UNHCR, and other humanitarian organisations, with the aim to educate, engage and encourage youth to positively contribute to community," she said.

Mohammed Abu Asaker, the Public Information and Communications officer at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee, said, "Investing in the Future conference comes at a critical time, with the increasing number of refugees in the Middle East in the last few years. In the current tragic human conditions, children form more than half the number of refugees in the MENA region. The impact of displacement on children is dire, especially the drop-out school children who are more vulnerable to ignorance and loss".

He added that the relation between the UNHCR and the Big Heart are excellent and the cooperation is extremely productive, initiatives and efforts for refugee children. He added that holding this international conference for the first time outside the UNHCR headquarters is evidence of this vibrant and solid relation. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Nahyan approves project for Ovarian cancer research

posted on 02/10/2014

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, and President of U.A.E. Genetic Diseases Association, UAEGDA, on Wednesday approved a project for Ovarian cancer research and the project's budget, the second phase of the breast cancer project and the genetic survey for favism, the G6PD deficiency (Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency).

Sheikh Nahyan gave the approvals as he received a delegation from UAEGDA and the executive team of the 5th National Conference on Genetic Diseases, which was held last month in Dubai.

In his remarks at the meeting, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak hailed the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the leadership's support for efforts to advance the healthcare sector and enhance the well-being of people in the U.A.E.

He also commended the outcome of the recent conference which he described a global achievement made by U.A.E. in terms of the quality of researches presented at the event and the wide participation it saw as it brought together some 923 genetic scientists, experts, researchers, international academics, physicians, and representatives of government healthcare providers and pharmaceutical manufacturers. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Khalifa Medical City adds cryoablation to its electrophysiology service

posted on 02/10/2014

The heart rhythm team of the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, SEHA, at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, SKMC, has added a unique technology known as cryoablation to its electrophysiology (EP) service.

Cryoablation can be used for the treatment of heart rhythm disorders through targeted delivery of deep freezing – typically more than 40 degrees below freezing point – to areas in the heart that cause cardiac arrhythmias.

Recently, the SEHA EP team at SKMC used cryoablation to cure a young Emirati patient from an arrhythmia that has caused his heart to weaken. The young patient had an arrhythmia originating from an area very close to his main heart conduction system, and radiofrequency was too dangerous to use. The availability of cryoablation technology at SKMC offered him an opportunity for cure.

The heart has a specialised internal electrical system that controls the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat, and cardiac EP is a subspecialty within cardiology that focuses on heart rhythm conditions – including conditions that affect the speed as well as the regularity of its beats.

Catheter ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that is used when medications fail to treat heart rhythm disorders including atrial fibrillation, a condition that typically causes fast and irregular heartbeats. Traditionally, catheter ablation uses radiofrequency energy to apply heat to cardiac tissue that causes arrhythmias. Cryoablation offers a novel alternative to radiofrequency that is more efficient and in some cases safer than radiofrequency ablation.

"Cryoablation is considered safe because it has a low risk of complications. It has been used to treat thousands of patients worldwide, and allows physicians to reach and treat the affected tissue quickly and efficiently," said Dr. Alawi Alsheikh-Ali, Chair of Cardiac Sciences at SKMC and consultant electrophysiologist.

"In combination with a complete programme of treatment, cryoablation can improve quality of life and eliminate or reduce the unpleasant symptoms of atrial fibrillation like shortness of breath, fatigue, or weakness, which if left untreated can worsen over time," Dr. Alsheikh-Ali added, who is certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology.

"Cryoablation can also be used when the area causing arrhythmias within the heart is close to critical parts of the normal conduction system of the heart. Using radiofrequency energy in such instances can cause collateral damage to the normal electrical system and result in complications," added Dr. Omer Elhag, Head of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service and Consultant Electrophysiologist at SKMC, and Member of the Royal College of Physicians.

The SEHA heart rhythm team at SKMC offers a comprehensive EP service in U.A.E. The unique service is led by specialist Emirati electrophysiologists who understand the needs and requirements of the local population within Abu Dhabi. As many as 40% of the EP service's patients are local, reflecting the confidence that the facility holds within the community.

SKMC, managed by Cleveland Clinic, is part of the SEHA Health System and owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC (SEHA), which is responsible for the curative activities of all the public hospitals and clinics in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Sheikha Fatima honours employees of Corniche Hospital on its 30th anniversary

posted on 02/10/2014

"Since the foundation of the United Arab Emirates, the provision of high quality healthcare for mothers and children has been among the top priorities of our Government," the Mother of the Nation, H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, said yesterday.

In a speech delivered on her behalf by Reem Al Falasi at a function to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the opening of the new facilities of the Corniche Hospital in Abu Dhabi, H.H. Sheikha Fatima told hospital staff, " Our continuing efforts to build a developed, safe and secure society depend on the health of our present and future generations. That, in turn, depends on the health of our new mothers and our new children. We are confident that they are safe in your hands." The full text of the speech follows: "It is with great pleasure that I offer my congratulations to the Corniche Hospital, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the opening of this magnificent part of the healthcare services offered to citizens and other residents of Abu Dhabi.

"In the three decades since it opened – and indeed, for the several years before that when the Hospital operated in more modest accommodation - the Corniche Hospital has been at the very centre of childcare and maternity care in Abu Dhabi. Many thousands of mothers have benefited from the services the hospital has provided, and thousands of new mothers were themselves born here. The hospital and its dedicated staff have contributed much not just to one, but to two generations of mothers and children. We are grateful for all that you have done.

"Since the foundation of the United Arab Emirates, the provision of high quality healthcare for mothers and children has been among the top priorities of our Government. Launched by the late Sheikh Zayed – may God rest his soul – it continues to be a top priority today, under the guidance of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, and with the follow-up of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

"One of the first fruits of that policy, over 35 years ago, was the foundation of the Corniche Hospital. Since it was established, all of you here today, and your predecessors, have devoted yourselves to delivering that high quality health care – ante-natal, natal, post-natal and paediatric. Without your efforts, we could not have achieved the high standards of healthcare for mothers and children that we now enjoy. That is reflected in the U.A.E.'s low figures for death in childbirth and for infant mortality, where our record is now amongst the best in the world.

"On behalf of the U.A.E.'s mothers and children, I thank you all. I extend to you again my congratulations on all that you have achieved, and express to you all my best wishes for the years ahead. Our continuing efforts to build a developed, safe and secure society depend on the health of our present and future generations. That, in turn, depends on the health of our new mothers and our new children. We are confident that they are safe in your hands." The celebration was held at the Hospital in the presence of Prof. Maha Barakat, Director-General of the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi, Dr. Matar Rashed Al Darmaki, SEHA Chief Executive Officer and Dr. Linda Clark, CEO Corniche Hospital, along with many guests and valued staff members.

In her turn, Reem Al Falasi congratulated the medical personnel and staff of Corniche Hospital for their remarkable efforts in looking after and caring for mothers and children. She also distributed certificates of appreciation to staff who have been working at the Hospital since its foundation.

The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood (SCMC) is an independent governmental organisation that facilitates the optimal development and protection of mothers and children in the United Arab Emirates.

The Council reports directly to the President, and it was established by Federal Law No. 01 of 2003, during the reign of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and is chaired by H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak.

The Council is considered the umbrella of motherhood and childhood sectors in the United Arab Emirates, where it acts within a National Childhood and Motherhood Strategy aimed at ensuring a conducive environment for the fulfilment of the rights of all children and adolescents and achieving the welfare of mothers. The National Childhood and Motherhood Strategy serves as a reference point for decision makers in all sectors working in the field of childhood in the United Arab Emirates. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


ATF plans to use robot to befriend autistic children

posted on 02/10/2014

To increase autism awareness in the U.A.E., the Autism Trust Foundation (ATF) Dubai has invested in a robot named Noah, specially designed to help in treating the children with autism, to enter their world and communicate with them to help them socialise.

Announcing its new brand and upcoming awareness programmes, the ATF yesterday presented a short movie featuring autistic children and adults holding up placards bearing texts like, ‘I may not talk but I understand', ‘Loud noises can make me anxious', ‘I can tell you every fact about Elvis Presley,' ‘I need understanding'.

"We have agreed on buying the robot," Deputy Chairman of the ATF, Fahed Al Sheikh, told Khaleej Times, adding, "The robot has been approved but we are waiting for development of the software. The programming needs testing, so we're waiting and it should arrive in Dubai in three to four months." The other revelation was the discount card, ‘ATF Unity Card', for children diagnosed with autism from around the world to submit their paintings for a chance to win prizes.

The card is also for those pursuing autism-related vocational courses from leading universities in the U.A.E. to have their tuition fees paid by the foundation. These ATF Unity Cards will be sold to individuals and corporates. The cards cost Dh300, and will enable discounts at outlets participating in a programme called ‘Live and Play In My World'.

The ATF doesn't operate on donations, it's all funded by the Al Sheikh family. "We don't have an issue raising funds, we have an issue raising awareness," he told the media.

The ATF Dubai centre in Silicon Oasis has 32 children with autism. They don't charge any fees and unlike some other institutions that are not equipped to deal with older children and adults with autism, at the ATF, there is no cap on the age or the severity of the autism case.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a range of complex neuro-development disorders, characterised by social impairments, communication difficulties, or restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behaviour. Autism disorder, sometimes called autism or classical ASD, is the most severe form of ASD. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


New radar to catch speeding watercraft near Dubai coast

posted on 02/10/2014

New hand-held radar guns will now be used to catch speeding watercraft, such as jet skis and boats, near the Dubai coastline.

The new speed limits, ranging from 5-7 knots depending on the location, will not apply to vessels navigating deeper Gulf waters offshore, said Dubai based English language daily, Gulf News, in an article yesterday.

Dubai Police and Dubai Maritime City Authority, DMCA, announced the new radar initiative and launched an awareness campaign urging marine vessels to abide by designated speed limits across Dubai waters in a joint press conference on Tuesday.

Navigating at a speed exceeding the maximum allowed in designated areas risks a fine of Dh 2,000, according to the law. This includes jet skis, speedboats, yachts, or any sea vessel.

Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Dubai Police Chief, said that enforcing the new speed limits will significantly cut down on the number of accidents caused by speeding watercraft in areas close to the beach.

"The speed limit will ensure the safety of the public who are enjoying Dubai's beaches or any establishments near the beach, as those accidents can cause loss of lives and damage to public property." Major General Al Mazeina explained.

In 2014, there were 56 accidents involving watercraft, Dubai Police Statistics showed.

He said the radar gun has been used in trials and caught 200 speeding watercraft, adding that recently they had received multiple complaints from beach goers about jet-ski users who drive close to the beach in a dangerous manner, Maritime police patrols will also be intensified to enforce the new speed limit.

The maximum speed limit is determined based on operating conditions and local safety measures, and the speed is measured in knots.

Al Mazeina said that a speed limit of five knots is to be set in the ports of Dubai, while a speed limit of seven knots should be abided by within Dubai Creek and Al Mamzar.

In the case of craft coming within 300 metres of the beach area, which should only be done in the case of an emergency, a speed limit of seven knots is to be abided by.

A speed of seven knots should also be observed when passing within 50 metres of any boat moorage, diving platform, loading dock, ship moorage or when passing through an anchorage area of small marine vessels.

Al Mazeina, commended the DMCA's vital role in introducing several maritime safety initiatives which have had a positive impact on the image of Dubai's maritime sector.

Dubai Police recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with DMCA to improve shore security by conducting daily night and day patrols to ensure seamless operation of marine vessel anchorages.

Sultan bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai Maritime City Authority, said that determining speed limits across Dubai waters complements DMCA's ongoing efforts to implement the highest standards of maritime safety and operational management in line with the best practices and in compliance with local and international decisions.

He added that the speed limits do not apply to the open sea. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


MBRF starts ’Writer Exchange’ between U.A.E. and Japan

posted on 02/10/2014

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japan Arts and Culture Foundation to activate the first partnership under the Writer Exchange category of MBRF's Dubai International Program for Writing. The program is aimed at empowering young authors and providing them a suitable environment to develop their talent.

The agreement was signed in the Japanese capital Tokyo in the presence of Ali Saeed Al Nowais, U.A.E. Ambassador to Japan, Jamal bin Huwaireb, Managing Director of MBRF, Yasunobu Terada, Chairman, Japan Arts and Culture Foundation, and Shintaro Ishihara, Supreme Advisor, Japan Arts and Culture Foundation.

Under the Writer Exchange category, MBRF will tie up with literary and knowledge entities world-wide to enable writers from the U.A.E. and other countries to gain deeper understanding about each other's cultures and express their experiences through their works.

As part of the exchange program with Japan Arts and Culture Foundation, writers from the U.A.E. and Japan will stay for a while in each other's countries, where they will get opportunities to exchange ideas based on their respective cultures, and introduce their works. Writers will be chosen separately by a committee from their own country.

The cooperation will lead to the publication books in Arabic and Japanese, which will emphasise the concepts of mutual learning, mutual cooperation and oneness of humanity.

"This agreement is further confirmation of MBRF`s commitment to implement the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to strengthen the process of knowledge transfer and empower young Arab talents to develop their skills in order to enhance the contribution of Arab literature and creativity to the literary world," said Jamal bin Huwaireb, Managing Director of MBRF. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Al Qasba gears up to celebrate Eid Al Adha with fun activities

posted on 02/10/2014

Al Qasba, Sharjah's popular family and tourist spot, is set to once again be playground for all ages, with a very special line-up of international entertainment planned this Eid Al Adha from 4th - 6th October.

The celebrations at Al Qasba will begin with a spectacular fireworks display at 10:00 am that will add a wonderful array of colours and striking patterns to the Eid night sky.

Sultan Mohammed Shattaf, Al Qasba Destination Manager, said: "Al Qasba is committed to sharing joy of festivities and happy occasions throughout the year with its visitors, by organising a line-up of activities for the whole family.

During the Eid Al Adha holiday, we are eager to offer various activities this year, some of which combine learning with fun. We will, also, present the premiere of ‘Men in Coasts' in our region, after the tremendous success in its world tour. We hope that Al Qasba visitors will enjoy activities of Eid Al Adha, which will increase their joy in Eid".

Al Qasba boasts a range of state-of-the-art facilities and tourist attractions including, among others, various restaurants and cafes, the 250-seat Masrah Al Qasba-Theatre, Multaqa Al Qasba-Conference and Meeting Halls, Al Qasba Business Centre, Kids Fun Zone, Al Qasba Musical Fountain, Eye of the Emirates Wheel, and the Maraya Art Centre. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Green revolution at Abu Dhabi schools

posted on 02/10/2014

Abu Dhabi Schools in the capital are taking steps to conserve water and electricity thanks to a government initiative.

The Sustainable Schools Initiative (SSI) programme, initiated by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) which encourages students to preserve the environment, is already yielding tangible results.

The Abu Dhabi Indian School (ADIS) alone saves 49,000 litres of water daily.

"As part of the SSI, we had to take concrete steps to reduce our water and energy consumption. We decided to install a low-cost gadget called Super Flow in flush tanks which helps save 10,000 litres of water everyday. We have also adjusted the valve inside the tanks to control the volume of water being used. This helped save an additional 39,000 litres of water a day,” said Karan Singh, headmaster for senior boys at the Abu Dhabi Indian School.

"We plan to switch to LED lights which will further reduce energy consumption,” he added.

At Al Bashair School in Mussaffah plastic usage has dropped by 92 per cent in just one year. "Earlier, we used 1,000 plastic cups a day. But not anymore,” said school teacher Shwikar Al Kaff.

As many as 131 schools are registered with EAD. "Registration is not mandatory, but seeing its benefits, more are more schools are signing up for our environmental programme,” said Gayatri Raghwa, senior specialist outreach, Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD).

Big benefits

Since the launch of the SSI programme five years ago, schools have managed to reduce their per capita waste by 23 per cent and water consumption by 54 per cent.

The Liwa International School in Al Ain has even invested Dh1.2 million for 102 solar panels in their compound. "We undertook this project to meet SSI guidelines. The solar panels generate 28,470 kilowatts of power annually. They power 250 outdoor lights and two water purifiers that recycle grey water,” said Rima Daouk, head of quality assurance and public relations.

"We have planted thousands of plants around the school to help cool the environment and reduce our dependency on air conditioning,” she added.

EAD said a medical recycling initiative by students of Qatr Al Nada school in Madinat Zayed resulted in the safe and convenient disposal of 5,745kg of pharmaceutical waste. "It all started when students from the school's eco-club expressed concerns about the disposal of expired medicines. They can be toxic when thrown into the common waste stream as they can harm the environment, particularly animals who feed on the waste. As part of the SSI commitment, the school approached the Health Authority in Abu Dhabi to extend their outreach in the western region of Abu Dhabi,” said Rasha Ali Al Madfai, manager of environmentally sustainable schools.

Room for medicines

"The students used a room in the school to store unwanted medicines and created small cubicles to separate them according to their chemical composition.”

Students also had a solution for pigeon droppings around the area.

"The school set up pigeon holes on its terrace where the birds would come to feed. Their droppings were used to make fertiliser.”

EAD has encapsulated some of these stories in a book titled AHA Moments which captures the inspirational moments of the schools on their journey towards sustainability. – Gulf News -


U.A.E. bag third medal at Asian Games

posted on 02/10/2014

Incheon, South Korea: The U.A.E. added a third medal through karateka Marwan Al Mazmi in the men's individual kata competition at the Incheon Asian Games on Thursday.

This is the third medal for the U.A.E. following Sheikh Juma bin Dalmouk Al Maktoum's double trap shooting bronze and the gold medal of Aliah Saeed Mohammad in the women's 10,000m on the opening day of track and field competition last Saturday. – Gulf News -


Global Village gears up for November 6 opening

posted on 02/10/2014

The management of Global Village is finalising details for its November 6 opening, including beefing up safety and security and adding new attractions to the theme park.

Senior management at Global Village recently briefed senior government officials in the emirate on the broad range of new developments and initiatives that are set to entice visitors to the largest outdoor family entertainment attraction in November.

Now in its 19th season, the management met representatives from Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police, Dubai Civil Defence, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, the Roads and Transport Authority, and the Department of Economic Development to update them on the progress of the park's latest developments.

They promised a "bigger and better than ever” season this year that will run until April 11, 2015.

Brigadier General Abdullah Ali Abdullah Hassan Gaithi, Director of the General Administration of Security Bodies, Enterprises, and Emergency – Head of Events Security Committee, lauded the new developments that aim to enhance visitor experience, without giving specific details.

"The whole season is gearing up to be a hugely successful six months and we are delighted to be working once again in such close partnership with our colleagues at Global Village,” he said.

Ahmad Hussain, Chief Operating Officer at Global Village, said part of the park's objectives is to partner with government authorities to ensure the success of operations at the park and ensure the safety and security of everyone.

"One of our primary concerns is the safety of the five million visitors we attract every year which is why we work so closely with the Events Security Team to ensure that everything is up to the highest international standards in Global Village.” – Gulf News -

20-day Zayed heritage festival in Abu Dhabi from Nov 20

The fifth edition of the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014 starts on November 20 and will run for 20 days.

Sheikh Sultan bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, Advisor to the U.A.E. President, President of the Camel Race Association and Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee of the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014, has officially adopted the key elements and activities of the festival. Visitors will be captivated by live interactions and innovative entertainment that brings to life the U.A.E.'s rich heritage.

"This festival is a reflection of our Emirati heritage, and a voyage through time that encompasses our past, present and future. It reminds us all that our nation's prosperity is not a mere coincidence, but built on the strong foundations of past achievements,” said Sheikh Sultan.

From November 20, the festival's fifth edition will enthral visitors for 20 days of non-stop enlightenment with attractions that have been enriched and enhanced year after year. In addition to U.A.E. citizens and residents, this showcase of heritage par excellence is expected to attract visitors from all over the world.

Mohammed Haji Khouri, Director-General of the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Humanitarian Foundation, said, "This festival carries special significance for every person in the U.A.E.. Therefore, we are proud to contribute to its success by buying products from 150 outlets and distributing them for free to visitors at the festival.”

Last year, a large numbers of visitors enjoyed multiple attractions in Al Wathba area. The exhibitions included "Memories of a Nation”, which displayed ancient artefacts and historical treasures dating back to 500 years ago from the desert, oasis, mountains and sea. A fifth element — the city and the state — symbolised the U.A.E.'s modern unity under the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The festival also featured glorious performances to celebrate National Day, including a parade of over 5,000 Emiratis marching to honour the founding father and using their movements to showcase historical scenes. Khaleej Times§ion=nationgeneral